For the many millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa who lack access to electric lighting, sunset brings an almost enveloping dark. But Light Libraries is one handy solar-powered program that brings an affordable end to darkness for school students. pv magazine sat down with Sofia Ollvid from SolarAid to discuss how these libraries work.
The raised ambition of an already huge renewables-powered hydrogen project in the Southern African nations vividly demonstrates the hydrogen and clean energy potential of a continent which accounted for just 0.5% of the world’s new solar capacity last year, according to trade body AFSIA’s annual report.
The U.S.-based non-profit organization is supporting the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the development of the three mini grids. The incentives for the projects will be provided in the form of grants.
Attendees at an online event dedicated to rooftop solar in Central Africa called for customer incentives, tax exemptions for solar kit, feed-in tariffs, installation standards, affordable finance, grid connections and recycling policies across the region.
A spokesperson for London-based installer Winch said the subsidized, $0.29/kWh electricity the networks will offer to villagers is the lowest price for such a system anywhere in the world.
Uganda wants to take advantage of its large water resources for renewable energy development. It is now seeking consultants to assess its floating PV potential.
A report commissioned by EU lender the EIB has dismissed the role solar mini-grids can play in achieving universal electrification by 2030 and signaled distribution to individual households should be the way forward, including sales to the residents of UN refugee camps in East Africa.
Lack of grid capacity and renewable energy institutions are a common lament in sub-Saharan Africa but there is no lack of cash to invest, nor eligible projects in East Africa, as a recent event heard; the problem lies in marrying the two.
With ‘shovel-ready’ projects across India, Africa and Latin America in line for a mix of grants, cheap loans, equity investment and financial guarantees from this year, the two bodies hope to trigger $20 billion in total funding and bring reliable power to a billion people.
The global off-grid solar appliance market began an uneven recovery from the worst ravages of the global pandemic in the second half of last year, according to market body GOGLA, but more finance and policy support must be made available to have any chance of achieving universal electricity access this decade.
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